7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
that the excellence [all-surpassing] of the power may be of God
The all-surpassing power of delivering the message of salvation rests in God, not men.
and not of us.
The suffering of the gospel team (vv. 8f) does not discredit their ministry. Instead, it demonstrates the power of God in their difficulty.
Transcendent power belongs to God, not us.
There is no mistake where the power originates in ministry. The weakness and limitations of God’s servants is the platform that He uses for His work (2 Co 12:9). God uses fragile pots to do great work.
The power of salvation lies in its message, not in its messengers (Ro 1:16). Our Lord uses frail, finite human beings who trust Him. He gives mortal human beings the ability to proclaim a supernatural message (1 Co 2:5; 3:7).
A genuine sense of the privilege to minister the gospel casts a sense of unworthiness upon those who deliver it. Ministers of Christ are expendable. Our only value is what we have in Christ. The treasure of the gospel has nothing to do with the pot (1 Co 1:20). Ministry does not depend on the durability of the pot but on the sufficiency of God. God can use anyone. People can see the power of God in human weakness. Anything of eternal accomplishment comes from God.
God works in frail human beings. As we embrace our weakness, God provides His power to us. The fragile nature of ministers of the gospel enhances the divine character of the message. God uses the weak to reach the world (1 Co 1:26-29). God passed by the philosophers of Athens to tap into the small nation of Israel to do His work. He did this because the magnificence of the intellect prohibited them from openness to God. He uses those who are responsive to His Word.
Those with lesser attainment should encourage themselves with how God uses people. In God’s eyes, what we lack may be our advantage. Our value does not lie in what we are ourselves but in the treasure of our message. God has a place for the common, frail, and weak. He will use us in difficulty, under duress and adversity. As long as we think that everything must be perfect before God uses us, we will falter along the way. What God does is no product of human education, ingenuity, genius, or cleverness. He will use the uneducated or the educated submitted to Him.